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Smart Aging: Healthy Futures

Fifty-two percent of older Mississippians live in rural areas, and over eighty percent of elderly Mississippians live in their own family dwellings.  The challenge for Mississippi is finding ways to maintain and improve the health of our senior residents while ensuring them the freedom of residing in their own homes.  This is especially true for rural areas with less formal support for seniors’ health and well being.

 

Based upon that need, the Smart Aging: Healthy Futures project was developed by Mississippi State University Extension Service, with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, to help communities foster the healthy aging of their senior populations. 

The project has three primary objectives:

  • To identify specific community resources and deficits relative to supporting the health and health care needs of a community’s rural senior population
  • To engage communities in grassroots efforts to improve the health and health care accessibility of their rural senior populations
  • To initiate various health promotion activities and educational programs targeting rural aging populations within communities and their families and support systems

The project was originally conducted in Oktibbeha, Clay, Copiah and Lincoln Counties.  In Copiah and Lincoln counties, the project was directed in cooperation with Copiah – Lincoln Community College.  Early successes led to the project being expanded to include the city of Pascagoula.  Findings of and materials produced for the project are here to assist other communities and seniors throughout the state as we all work towards the goal of achieving a healthy future.

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Publications

News

A woman sits at a table which displays alternative Halloween treats.
Filed Under: Food, Health, Nutrition and Wellness October 11, 2021

Whether you are having a Halloween party with friends, sending treats to school, or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, with a little creativity, you can find ways to add some healthy options into the mix.

A woman stands behind a kitchen counter of breakfast toast and toppings.
Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Health, Nutrition and Wellness September 13, 2021

Don’t think of breakfast as a meal that has to take a long time to prepare. One of my favorite breakfast meals is toast. I start with whole-grain toasted bread as my foundation to build a healthy meal with lots of fun, tasty, and nutritious toppings. 

Medical worker in protective clothing takes a throat swab from a male patient.
Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Health, Coronavirus September 10, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The risk of infection and hospitalization from COVID-19 is significantly higher in unvaccinated people, but some fully vaccinated people are also being infected due to the contagiousness of the delta variant of the virus.

Though no vaccine is 100% effective, it is the best method to avoid contracting the virus or suffering a severe illness from a breakthrough infection, said Dr. Tami Brooks, Starkville physician and retired professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Medicine.

sliced bell peppers and cucumbers on a plate
Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Nutrition and Wellness August 23, 2021

Whether you are tailgating or celebrating your favorite team at home this fall, food is always a part of the festivities. If you want to have some lighter fare at your gathering, this Spinach Dip Makeover will fit perfectly.

Two girls coloring.
Filed Under: Coronavirus August 19, 2021

With the uptick in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, it’s not uncommon to hear of loved ones and friends who have been infected or who are in quarantine due to exposure. Children, especially, may be confused, worried, and afraid about classmates, friends, and family members who are sick.

Success Stories

Two masked women with glasses and brown hair holding a brown bag.
4-H, Commercial Horticulture, Healthy Homes Initiative, Food and Health, Health, Coronavirus, Nutrition
Volume 7 Number 2

Extension Brown Bags flying off shelves in DeSoto County

Mississippi State University Extension agents in DeSoto County are partnering with public librarians throughout the county to distribute Extension Brown Bags to members of the community. Extension has offered a range of educational programs at these libraries, so joining with them to expand the giveaways was a natural choice.

Four people stand behind a recently cut large red ribbon on a new bridge over a body of water.
Food and Health, Health, Coronavirus, Natural Resources, Water, Water Quality
Volume 7 Number 2

Extension distributes 78,000 masks in Mississippi

When a federal agency made mass shipments of thousands of masks available nationally, the Extension health director in Washington, D.C., Dr. Roger Rennekamp, reached out to his longtime colleague Dr. David Buys, an associate professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

An smiling elderly woman stands next to a window.
Health and Wellness, Health
Volume 3 Number 2

Extension program keeps Wiggins residents moving

People know they can maintain healthy, active lifestyles with regular movement, and women in Stone County have been following that advice for years. When Barbara O’Hara moved to Wiggins from the Gulf Coast, she wanted to continue participating in an exercise class. She was delighted to find an announcement for the Strong Bones, Strong Women program in the local newspaper.

A woman in a grocery store holding a blue basket filled with produce like leafy green lettuce.
Health and Wellness, Food and Health, Food, Health, Nutrition and Wellness, Nutrition
Volume 1 Number 1

Eating Healthier, Living Better

With a business to run and five active children, Alberta Cheval never spent much time in the kitchen.

Three smiling women.
Health and Wellness, Family, Children and Parenting, Food and Health, Nutrition and Wellness
Volume 7 Number 1

Head Start staff completes training to ensure safe, healthy foods

Washington County Opportunities Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start was forced to stop in-person services for much of 2020 because of the pandemic, but that did not stop its staff from feeding the children who are registered in the program.

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Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. David Buys
Associate Professor
State Health Specialist
Portrait of Ms. Qula Madkin
Extension Instructor